While many of these factors are improving, though still far too slowly, the stereotypes stubbornly persist. The idea that women aren’t as logical, and therefore aren’t as capable in fields such as science and mathematics. The entire STEM industry shows a staggering discrepancy among the gender of professionals in those fields. From balancing a budget, for example, to designing guidance systems, the professional world’s mentality is that women are inherently inferior, despite countless examples historically and currently that blatantly disprove that ideology.
This demonstrates a massively untapped workforce in most technical careers, something any company would be wise to consider. As with other investments, increased focus on highly qualified female candidates can bring a significant edge to any company intelligent enough to cut through the cultural bias and consider a candidate based on qualifications, rather than other, far less relevant factors, such as gender.
The US Census Bureau presents some fascinating data regarding the gender gap in STEM fields. The infographic shown below breaks the data down by state. The states displaying higher gender gaps in the STEM workforce elicit just as many questions as the size of the gaps themselves. The data calls into question what other cultural influences are impacting the discrepancies, as there are clearly regional forces involved. Regional variances or not, the data presented here clearly shows that we still have a long way to go toward true gender equality.